Graduation Date

Spring 5-9-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Medical Sciences Interdepartmental Area

First Advisor

Sharon Medcalf, PhD

Second Advisor

Kendra Schmid, PhD

Third Advisor

Brandon Grimm, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Jan Tompkins, MPH, MT(ASCP)


This study highlights the importance of teaching presence as a necessary component of the online learning experience for students and faculty in higher education. The Community of Inquiry (COI) framework on teaching presence and the Community of Inquiry teaching presence survey were utilized in a cross-sectional stratified survey study. The study aimed to determine if there were similarities and differences between the online student’s perceptions and his or her instructor’s perceptions of teaching presence in an online graduate course. Additionally, research was conducted to determine if there was a significant relationship between teaching presence and course satisfaction in fully online courses. The results indicated that the perceptions of teaching presence differ between students and their instructors in a fully online course. The results also determined that both student and faculty course satisfaction are tied to teaching presence. This implicates the course design, delivery and facilitation as essential elements in online teaching. Online teaching faculty and the next generation of faculty should understand the importance of teaching presence and how to conduct an online course efficiently and effectively. The teaching presence results and the impact on course satisfaction results have implications for students, faculty, colleges, and universities. Students enrolled in an online course that lacks teaching presence can negatively impact the course/teaching evaluations and subsequently affect annual reviews and the promotion and tenure process. Online courses lacking teaching presence may also promote a lack of persistence amongst students to continue with the course or program, which ultimately affects the program's retention and graduation rates. The continued growth of online programs and courses highlight the need for faculty development opportunities for all new and current faculty teaching online. This will ensure that all enrolled students are receiving the same quality of education that is comparable, if not better, than what is received in the traditional classroom experience.

Available for download on Saturday, April 02, 2022